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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Corporate landlords will beat the individual

Asparagus and r-r-red peppers?
History has shown us the future. Fifty years ago we were a nation of shopkeepers. My grandad was one. Thousands of little grocers perched at the corner of residential streets, supplying loo roll, beans and potatoes. These were businesses owned and ran by individuals. Looking back it was clearly a very inefficient way to do business.

The big boys moved in and showed us how it should be done properly, offering greater choice cheaper. Big did it better.

One can only predict that the same will happen to landlords. Certainly the student rental sector is rapidly moving that way. Increasing numbers of purpose built student residential blocks are sucking demand away from the traditional terraces and semis.

Unite Group are the countries biggest provider of purpose-built student housing and they are growing fast. It has just been announced that they have bought a 2,904-unit student accommodation portfolio from Cordea Savills’ for £137million.

This acquisition brings the value of Unite's total student portfolio to £1.5 billion

The deal is part of booming student property investment market, boosted by the surprise announcement in George Osborne's Autumn Statement, lifting the cap on the number of students a university can take in.

The Financial Times has listed some of the recent activity in the student residential investment sector.

Fifty years from now the small, independent landlord will be a far rarer beast.

Landlords will be looked back upon with the same nostalgic whimsy as the corner grocer.

"Remember how he'd turn up in Audi estate, a mastic gun in one hand and a rent book in the other ..."

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